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On the Huhne speeding mystery

Michael Crick | 14:38 UK time, Monday, 16 May 2011

Two hours ago Newsnight discovered that Vicky Pryce - Chris Huhne's now estranged wife - was due to address a seminar at the LSE on the evening of 12 March 2003. That's the date in contention in the Chris Huhne speeding mystery.

And the LSE has just confirmed to me that Vicky Pryce did actually attend the event - a City Alumni seminar, starting at 6.30pm.

The organiser of the event, Nat Holtham, confirmed to me that Vicky Pryce spoke that evening, and that the event would have lasted between an hour and an hour and a half.

"I remember meeting Vicky and seeing her," he told me.

"I had been pleased to discover that one of our alumni held such an eminent position in government."

In itself, this fact proves nothing, but it makes it pretty unlikely that Vicky Pryce could have been driving in Essex beween 6pm and 8pm that evening.

Newspaper claims that Mr Huhne asked someone to take his penalty points for a speeding offence in 2003 emerged last week following a newspaper interview with Ms Pryce.

The Lib Dem cabinet minister has denied the allegation, describing it as "simply incorrect".


  • Comment number 1.

    "Newsnight discovered" = "We read it on Guido's blog!" Guido beat you to it...... again.

  • Comment number 2.

    Will look bad for Huhne if he maintains his current stance and is found to have misled everyone - not the most heinous offence [I believe it is quite common] but it puts a black mark against his integrity.

  • Comment number 3.

    'Two hours ago Newsnight discovered'

    And the process involved in this 'scoop' would be equally interesting.

    I am also having a Clintonian sense of deja vu, in the great semantic weasel scheme of things.

    At least he didn't say 'I have not swapped positions with that relation'

  • Comment number 4.

    @2... "Will look bad for Huhne if he maintains his current stance and is found to have misled everyone -not the most heinous offence [I believe it is quite common]"

    It is a criminal offence called conspiracy to pervert the cause of justice and can carry a penalty of imprisonment.

    This is not just a normal matter of a Minister lying about statistics. This is about a criminal offence.

  • Comment number 5.

    PRECISELY (#2)

    Westminster APPROVES those who prosper without integrity. They are called 'parliamentarians'. Whether Huhne has done anything wrong is immaterial - that he functions in Westminster and never challenges its democratic deficit (except an opportunist squeal at the NO Campaign) marks him down.

  • Comment number 6.

    '1. At 15:17pm 16th May 2011'

    I wondered at the source trail. What with Mr. Fawkes managing to scrape along with a bit less than £4Bpa on a free to user model 'n all.

    '2. At 15:21pm 16th May 2011, meninwhitecoats - it puts a black mark against his integrity.'

    For an MP, government/cabinet minister and one of the higher officers of the land, perhaps a bit more than that?

    Still QT has shown that all is not lost, appearance fee wise, should things take a (more) unfortunate turn. And if life serves you lemons...

  • Comment number 7.


    Black holes are a cosmologists conspiracy. They only exist in symbols on a blackboard.

    Is a pattern developing? Men escaping from reality into a virtual world - super computer modelling and self-generating Physics - are feeding us with viral spam.

    Another branch of Perversity.

  • Comment number 8.

    @purpleDogzzz Perhaps it should have been "Newsnight discovered by reading Guido's blogg / Twitter"

  • Comment number 9.

    Ha Ha, I love how the BBC get their scoops now....perhaps they need to rephrase:

    "Two hours ago Newsnight discovered by reading Guido's blog.."

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    Here's hoping Huhne can tough it out long enough for David Laws to get re-admitted to Parliament; then Cam can sack him and wheel in Laws. Whilst the sums involved in Laws' case were higher, I think his motives were too. Huhne has always struck me as a man with an extremely high regard for his own 'talents', who's ruthless and calculating. He might be about to learn that you can't walk all over people for your own gain and always get away with it. Karma, I think it's called...

  • Comment number 12.

    what a week for the trashing of reputations, it started on Friday 13th always a bummer, and now the next French president has gifted down in the polls Sarkozy an open goal...allegedly, and Huhne has given Nick a headache, remember if they are still on the front page after a week...they are history, what's the betting?

  • Comment number 13.

    Do you find this establishment humour (at our expense) extremely patronising?

    Nail them!

  • Comment number 14.

    #11 space 1999

    could you remind me why David laws resigned from government, as it would seem
    i have been harbouring some misinformation about his case?

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    A purpleDogzzz post adjacent to a barriesingleton post


  • Comment number 17.

    on huhnes speeding mystery. hypothetically if found guilty should he resign.
    in this case it would seem a personal matter of morality, but in these times it could be looked upon as a misdemeanor. considering the importance of the job he does.
    on the other hand in politics, if the knives are out alls fair in love and war.
    in david laws case i dont think the same criteria applies as it was public funds to the tune of £40.000. then again in politics alls fair in love and war?

  • Comment number 18.

    Wouldn't it be funny if he was with a lady not his wife ?
    Difficult one for the BBC to handle. On the one hand Huhne is a lefty-liberal Global Warming fanatic ( good, hurrah ! ) on the other hand he is in coalition with the nasty Tories ( bad, boo, hiss ! ).
    Yet again, shows up the difficulties of the BBC taking sides on all matters, instead of being objective and unbiased.

  • Comment number 19.


    Huhne - a typical Westminster 'debating society' politician (any brief will do - no conviction (sic) required) is currently championing Carbon-forced AGW. What he knows of Solar System dynamics could be pasted over the lens of a Gatso.

    'YES' to another global warming cycle (probably ended) 'NO' to state-assisted CO2 CONSPIRACY.

  • Comment number 20.

    I have no idea whether there has been wrong-doing in this case, but it is very depressing that there is such understandable readiness to assume the worst of politicians. As a breed, they have a long way to go to modify the record they have.

    I was very struck by David Cameron's Foreward to the Ministerial Code:

    " Though the British people have been disappointed in their politicians, they still expect the highest standards of conduct. We must not let them down."

    It would be good to see that.

  • Comment number 21.


    I have a weighty scientific and mathematical education. But I feel like a man with one short-sighted eye in the kingdom of the blind.

    If ministers, who are rarely specialists, are not to take decisions based upon the scientific majority/consensus view, what are they to do instead?

    The scientific majority/consensus view may be wrong. It should certainly be subject to rigorous scrutiny. But I would rather that decisions be made upon that basis, than upon the individual prejudices of ministers, or the financial interests of their friends and backers, or the opinions expressed on the myriad of websites whose "information" is no better than that of the hypothetical "man in the pub".

    And then, one must always ask "what are the consequences of being wrong?"

  • Comment number 22.

    Up to point I agree with you. The problem is that the vast majority of politicians and journalists are so ignorant of science, they don't even know how to distinguish between good science and bad science. Look at all the mistakes in the recent past, foot and mouth, BSE and many more.
    I don't think any of the BBC Science Correspondents and commentators on Global Warming, like Huhne, have any background in Science. One noble exception at the BBC is David Gregory who has a PhD in science.
    "What are the consequences of being wrong ? ". The consequences of Global Warming fanatics like the BBC and most politicians being wrong are potentially catastrophic. The consequences of Global Warming as predicted by them are fairly mild. It is a scam, pure and simple.

  • Comment number 23.


    Forward written by a charlatan who had used a FALSIFIED self-image, to sell Conservative belief - pre 2010 election, and connived at an indescribably evil 'No' Campaign in the AV referendum in 2011.

    Cameron certainly knows how to put the MOCK into de-mock-crass-y. We are mocked. How bizarre that all focus is on Huhne's COMPARATIVELY minor transgression - far less pre-meditated.


  • Comment number 24.


    You make a good case for wise ministers with, where possible, a grounding in their specialisation. They need human psychology to suss out the (all to frequent) barmy scientists WHO LOVE ADVISORY POSITIONS.

    What we actually get, is power-driven ministers who see blagging as a high art, and who are switched from war, to education, to arts, on the Great Leader's whim.

    Our ministers are 'pubbloke+'. And from this pool emerges a nuclear PM.

    I watched blagger Dave before a Treasury committee today. Yep: pubbloke+.

  • Comment number 25.

    #24 barriesingleton

    correct. if you look back to the pre election leaders debate the utra modern style politics came into play.all spin and very little substance. i agree with you nick and i agree with you David but no one agreed with Gordon.

    it was like the tv show the X factor or a scene on the Serengeti where the two young lions unite to beat the old lion king. has fate decreed that they be linked together, or will it all unravel.

  • Comment number 26.

    posts....don't touch will be binned.....must have mates at the beeb....

  • Comment number 27.

    '22. At 17:44pm 17th May 2011, Isatou
    The problem is that the vast majority of politicians and journalists are so ignorant of science, they don't even know how to distinguish between good science and bad science. I don't think any of the BBC Science Correspondents and commentators on Global Warming, like Huhne, have any background in Science. One noble exception at the BBC is David Gregory who has a PhD in science.'

    Noting the fiercely protected 'beats' alluded to in your (A)GW-specific distinction, let us not forget the qualifications of Ms.Watts on these pages if allowed near such a topic. Not that qualifications are a guarantee of anything to ensure accuracy or interpretation.

    But certainly, in comparison to 'analysis' by a Mr. Black, Harrabin or Shukman, or researcher-briefed (hopefully better than on AV) interpretation of events by a Mr. Humphrys, there may be more confidence that what is being trotted out is more than a rehash of a faxed in press release from a comfortable resource deemed valid no matter what.

    But then, whatever these more qualified reporters or interviewers may have by way of relevance, skills and integrity, there is still the matter of what is brought to them in advance by producers in the first place, or left afterwards on the cutting room floor by editors who know what narratives are best enhanced and what is best omitted.

    There has of course been the balancing avenues of interactive blogs, if amounting to a few score to point out what may not be entirely the case as broadcast to millions, but of course this is also being 'improved' into oblivion as one speaks.

    Funny old world. Almost, in certain quarters, unique.

  • Comment number 28.

    #2 - meninwhitecoats. If the allegations are proved true, he has broken the law. If one of your family or friends was run over and killed by a speeding driver, who had they not also cheated in this way may have been banned from driving, and so not on the road at that time, I suspect you may change your view on how heinous a crime this is.

    If he did it, he broke the law, and should have no further say in the politics of this country.

  • Comment number 29.


    "Unique " indeed !


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